Asphalt should be sealcoated one to two years after being paved. It should also be checked for cracks annually. If there are cracks wider than a ¼ inch they should be filled with hot rubber crackfill material. If not filled moisture could penetrate and disrupted the base. Sealcoating should also be done every two to three years depending on the amount of traffic and the condition of the asphalt. Doing these things prevents the deterioration of asphalt and saves you money over time. Not maintaining your parking lot causes the fine aggregates in the parking lot to deteriorate and oil to oxidizes out of the asphalt. When the fines deteriorate and the oil evaporates out of the parking lot you are left with just the bigger aggregates and eventually gravel. Contact us for a free consultation and parking lot maintenance plan.
Most asphalt fails due to poor drainage, unstable or poor subgrade and a lack of preventative maintenance. Asphalt deteriorates when smaller aggregates are broke loose by weather and traffic. When the smaller rock and oil is worn away there is nothing to bind the larger aggregates together. Thus causing the top surface to break apart and let more elements penetrate the asphalt and the base.
Cut and replace
The traditional way to fix a pothole or failed area of asphalt is to cut or mill it out. Remove the old asphalt and inspect the base. Depending on the base it either needs to be compacted or removed and replaced. After that step the perimeter walls need to be tacked and new asphalt needs to be installed. The new asphalt is installed in two lifts compacting after each lift.
Infrared Asphalt repair
Infrared is a new more cost efficient way of repairing asphalt. It leaves nice square looking patches without a seam that water can penetrate. It also has a faster turnaround then the traditional methods of asphalt repair so it disrupts your parking lot for a shorter period of time. The first step in infrared repair is to clean the area that is going to be repaired. After the area is clean the infrared heater is lit and it cycles heat on and off. The heat should penetrate 1 ½ to 2 inches of the existing asphalt mix.
After the asphalt is properly heated the heater is removed and the hot softened asphalt is raked. At this point, a rejuvenator is sprayed onto the heated area replacing some of the oils that have oxidized out over time. At this point, fresh hot asphalt is added and the area is luted to desired grade and compacted. Because the existing asphalt around the area has also been heated it forms a better bond with the new asphalt then cutting and replacing.
Some examples where it is best for infrared repair are potholes where it looks like the base is still intact, surface cracking where oxidation is present. If you want to add speed bumps or lower an area infrared is the best because it keeps a solid bond between the new and the existing asphalt. If there is a drainage issue asphalt can easily be raised or lowered to help water flow in an appropriate direction. Infrared is also a valuable tool when building up a handicapped ramp. By heating up the existing asphalt before adding the new asphalt for the ramp it ensures a tight bind that keeps moisture out.
Parking lot crack filling is a very important step in the asphalt maintenance plan. Especially in the Fargo Moorhead area where there is a freeze thaw cycle. Crackfilling helps seal your parking lot from water. Thus keeping your base or sub-base from weakening. It also keeps water in the crack from freezing and expanding the size of the crack. By keeping your parking lot properly crackfilled it can extend the life of your asphalt saving you money.
In some cases it is necessary to router the parking lot cracks to widen them and give the material something to bind to. Every parking lot is different and it depends on a number of factors. Routing cracks makes roughly a ½ inch deep by ½ inch wide reservoir.